I had no idea my testosterone levels were low! I mean, I’m a young guy, in my prime in my 20’s, so it never occurred to me that low testosterone was an issue. But something wasn’t right. I was frequently depressed, often tired, and lacking in my normal drive and enthusiastic self.
So I sought help, and the doctor recommended hormone testing. So I got tested and couldn’t believe the results! I should be a healthy young male, so what was up with low male hormone… and what could I do about it?
Boost Testosterone to Maximize Muscle
Testosterone is an essential hormone for men. Having low testosterone can make you feel depressed and even lower your sex drive, (now that would be depressing!). Low testosterone can impact muscle mass, reproduction and even your energy.
Symptoms of Low Testosterone
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Hair loss
- Less energy
You can visit your doctor and get blood samples taken to measure the amount of testosterone in your system. If your levels are low, there’s several synthetic and bioidentical testosterone products that your doctor will prescribe you if you have low T.
However, there are natural ways to boost your testosterone, which I recommend trying before resorting to Testosterone Replacement Therapy.
9 Ways to Boost Your Testosterone Levels
Men that are overweight are scientifically proven to have lower levels of testosterone compared to men that are in shape. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should stay away from processed sugar. You should stay away from soda and juice that contains processed sugar. Fructose is another major cause of obesity. You should limit your fructose consumption to 25 grams per day and that includes fruits. Avoid milk because it has a sugar called lactose which is causes insulin resistance, which is detrimental to your weight loss. You need to replace these foods with vegetables and healthy fats.
Exercise will also play a major role in burning away your fat. I recommend High Intensity Interval Training.
High Intensity Interval Training
Short, intense exercising has been proven to boost testosterone levels, as well as intermittent fasting. Long and moderate exercise has actually been proven to lower testosterone levels! You can save your time, get ripped and boost your testosterone all at once with HIIT. It’s been known to increase the expression of satiety hormones such as insulin, leptin, adiponectin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), colecystokinin (CKK) and melanocortins. All of these hormones increase your sex drive and prevents age-related testosterone reduction.
Having a whey protein shake or a meal after your HIIT can boost your testosterone even more. The hormones that cause hunger can actually be a factor in reducing your testosterone.
The idea of HIIT is to complete an exhausting set of exercises in a short time frame with little to no breaks. You should be sweating by the end of it. If you’re not sweating, you’re not burning calories.
An example of a HIIT routine is as follows:
- Three minute warm up
- Exercise as hard as you can within thirty seconds. You should be going full tilt and getting your heart pumping
- Recover for 90 seconds at a moderate speed (jogging for example)
- Repeat this procedure seven times
This entire procedure should take you no longer than 30 minutes. You’re saving your time and getting a great pump in, all at once. You’ll be burning away those calories in no time. You can use any type of machine for this kind of training, ranging from a treadmill, to an elliptical machine, to swimming and even sprinting. The point of it is to keep moving, at a fast-paced rate. You should be taking short breaks and pushing yourself to your limits. The exercise is short, but it has to be powerful, otherwise you won’t be getting any results. You should make sure that you start off slow and stretch out your muscles in order to avoid injury. For the best results, you should be doing HIIT at least four times a week. In a months time, you’ll look like a totally different person and your testosterone levels will be through the roof. You’ll feel confident and your body will look great too.
You can find more information on HIIT on this article. (Link back to other article.)
Zinc is an important mineral that aids in the production of testosterone. Men that included Zinc into their diets saw an improvement in testosterone levels after just 6 weeks. Zinc supplementation is an easier and more effective solution to increasing your testosterone levels.
According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 45 percent of adults over the age of 60 have lower than recommended zinc intakes, even when dietary supplements were added in. An estimated 20-25 percent of adults still had little zinc intake.
Your diet can be your best source for zinc intake. Especially foods that are rich with protein, like red meat and fish. Dairy productions such as yogurt, milk and cheese also aid in the increase of zinc. It can be difficult for some foods to provide you with zinc if you’re a vegetarian, due to the pesticides that farmers spray over their crops. These pesticides reduce the amount of zinc that’s absorbed by the plants.
Cooking your food can also reduce the amount of zinc that’s in your food. That’s why it’s better to eat your vegetables raw.
Too much zinc can also prevent copper from being absorbed, which may cause nausea. It’s recommended that you stick to a 40mg limit of zinc a day, if you’re consuming it as a supplement.
Intense Weight Training
Intense weight training, like HIIT, has proven to boost testosterone levels. When training with weights, you need to increase the amount of weight you’re lifting and lower the amount of reps. You’ll also need to lower the amount of your rest time to thirty seconds between your sets. Focus on exercises that use the largest amount of muscles, such as dead lifts or squats.
Boost Your Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D, which is a steroid hormone, increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido. Studies have shown that overweight men that took Vitamin D over the course of a year actually had a significant increase in their testosterone.
A lot of people don’t spend much time in the sun, which means a lot of people have very low levels of Vitamin D.
To get your Vitamin D at an optimum level, the best recommendation for you is to actually be exposed to the sun for at least one hour each day.
As a last resort, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken orally, but research suggests the average adult needs to take 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D per day in order to elevate their levels above 40 ng/ml, which is the absolute minimum for disease prevention. This supplement is also very useful for those who live in colder climates.
Lower Your Stress
When you’re under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol actually blocks testosterone, which will be detrimental to your progress. You want to avoid this happening
Popular and natural ways that you can reduce stress is by meditating, learning breathing techniques and even making yourself laugh and smile.When you create a visual image of how you’d like to feel, your subconscious will understand and begin to help you by making the needed biochemical and neurological changes.
7. Stop Eating Sugar
Testosterone levels decrease when you eat sugar. Sugar inhibits insulin, which causes your testosterone levels to decrease. The average American actually consumes 12 teaspoons of sugar a day, which is one of the many reasons why most people have low T.
If you’re trying to raise your testosterone levels, you should either cut back, take a break from or eliminate sugar from your diet altogether. It causes major health problems both physically and psychologically. If you want to increase your testosterone levels, then you need to cut back on the sugar. So next time you’re on lunch at work or at the grocery store, resist that urge to buy soda.
“Sugar causes major problems both physically and psychologically.”
8. Have a Good Night’s Rest
If you’re not sleeping for at least 7-9 hours a night, then I have some bad news for you. Studies have shown that lacking a quality sleep can actually cause your testosterone levels to drop significantly, which actually slows down the process of gaining more muscle mass and fat loss. At the University of Chicago they discovered that by sleeping longer, their subjects actually increased their testosterone levels more so than patients who were sleeping less than 7-9 hours a night. If you want to boost your testosterone, you better get some Z’s and besides, who doesn’t love a good night’s rest?
9. Increase Your Branch Chain Amino Acid Intake
Research shows that by ingesting more BCAA’s, you will be able to increase your testosterone exponentially. There are several supplements available on the market that will boost your BCAA’s, however whey protein will yield the best results, along with dairy products such as cheese.
You need to boost your leucine levels. By eating your everyday foods, a lot of that leucine that you’re receiving is stored and isn’t properly aiding in your anabolic muscle growth. In order to make sure your leucine is at an optimum level, you need to ingest a high concentration of it.
Leucine can also be counterproductive, because it can decrease your insulin levels at an exponential rate, which will in turn cause your testosterone levels to drop. Bear this in mind when you’re considering administering artificial forms of leucine and other amino acids.
There’s More. To Gain Muscle and Lose Fat…
…there’s another critical piece of this testosterone puzzle
Testosterone is the fuel that keeps a man going.
If you’re experiencing depression, anxiety or feeling tired, low T may be the cause. If you want to optimize your gains in the gym and speed up the process of fat loss, then increasing your testosterone levels should be one of your main priorities.
Following these steps above will help dramatically. But you should know more about the stealth culprit negatively impacting your male power hormone, testosterone.
For the 10th powerful way to positively increase your male hormone naturally, and to see my testosterone numbers and how they changed, you’ll want to read The Silent Attack on Masculinity, (coming soon… article in progress)!